Author Archives for growfund_admin
We are curating issues and causes that are important to our game-changing Growfund community. Today we shine a spotlight on The Hunger Relief Fund, an initiative of The Global Emergency Response Coalition (GERC), a collaborative of eight of the leading U.S.-based international relief organizations.
The Hunger Relief Fund: GERC
In Yemen, a child under five dies every 10 minutes because of the lack of food and basic resources. In South Sudan, families have been forced to flee their homes and are surviving on water lilies alone while hiding in swamps. In Somalia, teenagers walk for hours just to get enough water to last their families one day. In Nigeria, there have been reports of people eating sand to ward off starvation. Families are dying not only from hunger, but also from diseases such as cholera and measles because they lack clean water and sanitation.
For the first time, eight of the leading U.S.-based international relief organizations have joined forces to urge the American public to donate to the new Hunger Relief Fund in response to looming famines and persistent hunger threatening millions of people in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and neighboring countries. More than 20 million people face starvation in the coming months and, without immediate help, 1.4 million severely malnourished children could die.
Together, we can reach millions of the world’s most vulnerable people with urgent assistance such as food, water, shelter, education and medical care, as well as resources to build resilience to future food crises.
The Global Emergency Response Coalition is comprised of:
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
Save the Children
If your organization or collaborative would like to be considered for a Featured Giving Opportunity, contact a Growfund community expert at [email protected]
In this moving address at the Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) 30th Anniversary Symposium in April 2017, Global Impact’s President and CEO, Scott Jackson, presents the state of philanthropy today, describing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for the way all individuals can change the world through everyday giving and volunteerism. Along the way, he reminds us why people give–sharing his personal journey of facing great challenges in life and “choosing the charity within.”
Growfund’s director, Brandolon Barnett, was recently featured in an episode of the Champions for Social Good Podcast. In a conversation with Jamie Serino of the Corporate Foundations Solutions division at Blackbaud, Brandolon tells the story of how Global Impact’s goal to democratize philanthropy led to the launch of Growfund. He then draws a parallel between the democratization of philanthropy to the increased access to a variety of tools as a result of advancements in technology, such as data sharing and impact measurement.
Brandolon and Jamie also discuss the debate around Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) and explore the question of how making DAFs more accessible to everyday people, not just wealthy investors, might increase their efficacy and ease the polarity around DAFs. Lastly, they explore the effect of the millennial philanthropic mindset along with the shift in CSR programs to place a greater priority on employee engagement.
One new benefit offering is aiming to help employees with their charitable giving.
Global Impact, a nonprofit organization that works with international charities, has partnered with public benefit corporation Charity Charge to offer a donor-advised fund (DAF) and cashback credit card as an employer-sponsored benefit. Global Impact is offering employers access to its Growfund giving platform, which operates like a 401(k) plan…More
We’re looking forward to attending the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Professionals) Annual Conference June 18-21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Growfund’s Amanda Meyer will represent the team at this conference, which brings together business leaders to discuss innovative new practices that will change how the world does business.
Growfund was recently launched as a new employee benefit for holistic financial wellness packages.
In this Q&A series, we’re chatting with inspiring individuals who are innovating ways to make a difference in the world. Meet Stephen Garten, Founder and CEO of Charity Charge, a Public Benefit Corporation based in Austin, Texas that has teamed up with MasterCard and Commerce Bank to launch a no-annual-fee credit card that automatically earns 1% Cash Back in the form of a donation to any charity, nonprofit, K-12 school, college, or religious organization.
Charity Charge’s goal is to create a movement of everyday giving that empowers consumers to actively make a positive impact on the causes that they care about most with a credit card that helps its users #ChargeItForward.
Please tell us a bit about your history prior to founding Charity Charge. How did your experiences prepare you?
I think the biggest things that prepared me to create, launch, and operate Charity Charge were nothing relating to things I learned in the classroom. Entrepreneurship is so much based on perseverance, and many moments in my life helped shape my ability to handle adversity. When I was 19 and a sophomore in college, my father passed away from cancer. That was a very challenging thing to deal with, and I tried to turn the horrible experience into something positive. It helped me realize what is important in life, and that any setback or challenge I face with the company pales in comparison. Life experiences help me keep things in perspective. Ultimately I think that business is trivial compared to friends, family, and life.
What are you hoping to achieve through your work with Charity Charge?
I’m hoping to do two things — one is on a macro level and the other is on a micro one. In the macro sense, Charity Charge is standing as a symbol that anyone can learn an industry and become an expert in something if they have patience and spend the time to learn. It’s really a symbol for going after whatever it is in life that you care about personally or professionally. I faced so many challenges getting this company up and running, and much of what drove me was knowing that if I could get this off the ground, it would serve as inspiration for others. If my work with Charity Charge can inspire others to go after their dreams, then that will create a net effect that is WAY larger than Charity Charge itself.
With that said, in the micro sense I want Charity Charge to, at scale, be redirecting billions of dollars a year to nonprofits. Credit card points programs were created by a financial system that was driven largely by the “too big to fail” banks, and at the end of the day are gimmicks to lure consumers into signing up for credit cards that rarely follow through on their promises. 31% of consumers – that’s over 60 million people, according to BankRate – never, ever redeem their rewards points. That’s over $16 billion a year that goes unclaimed, and that breakage ends up being taken back by the credit card companies to line their pockets and balance sheets. Charity Charge is about more profits for non-profits.
What inspires you and keeps you motivated to do this work?
So many things are inspiring me, but the biggest thing is hearing from cardholders or nonprofits that love Charity Charge and who thank me for creating this company. It’s such a pleasure and blessing to know that Charity Charge is filling a need and making people’s lives better.
Can you tell us what excites you about Growfund as a partner for Charity Charge?
I’m in this for the long term, so first and foremost I think being on the radar screen of [Growfund’s] Ann Canela, Brandolon Barnett, and Simone Gourguechon has been awesome. Like with any partnership, it’s only as good as the trusted relationships you develop with the people. I’ve learned so much more about philanthropy, technology, employee giving, etc. from my conversations with them. I truly believe that 1+1+=3, and am excited for us to roll up our sleeves and grow philanthropy on a global scale. Practically speaking, I think the Growfund platform and mission are one of a kind in the sense that it’s democratizing giving while providing scale to individuals, companies, and nonprofits. I’m grateful that Charity Charge can play a small part in Growfund’s current and future success!
What advice would you give to people who are eager to make a positive impact on the world but don’t know where to begin, or have limited resources?
Ask for help. I’m going to be very practical here and say that when I first had the initial concept for Charity Charge, I knew nothing about the industry. I simply went on LinkedIn and found industry experts; I “cold” emailed all of them and asked if they’d speak with me on the phone.
One of the first cold calls I made was to Hunter Woolley, who at the time was a consultant in the credit card industry. He was immensely helpful and showed me the ropes of the co-brand card industry. I was still tinkering with my concept when, about a year later, he was hired by MasterCard to lead their co-brand business development unit. Naturally, having this connection to Hunter and MasterCard was instrumental in turning our idea into a reality. Had I never reached out to Hunter, it’s possible Charity Charge would never have become a reality. I’ve always loved the saying that anyone who has accomplished anything worthwhile, has done so by standing on the shoulders of other giants.
Read about the partnership between Charity Charge and Growfund here.
By Austen Brower
Earlier this week, Brandolon, Emily and I had the opportunity to represent Growfund at MCON 2017, which was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Over the two-day event, we were thrilled to engage with leaders, activists and social entrepreneurs from all over the country. We heard from leaders in social change on a variety of issues. Asha Curran, Chief Innovation Officer at 92nd Street Y, described how #GivingTuesday gave fundraising organizations a way to rally their communities to raise funds. Andrew Slacks of The Harry Potter Alliance spoke about bringing together fan communities to empower activists. Sarah Hemminger of Thread argued for more transformational, not transactional, relationships to create, engage, and connect diverse communities. Simon Moss, co-founder of Global Citizen, explored uniting celebrities, politicians, and local people to pursue solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.
We got to meet with other individuals doing incredible work in foundations, non-profits, companies, and social enterprises. Especially inspiring were the people my age who were just as passionate about building grassroots movements in their respective communities, like Bob, who is developing a community of peacebuilders to serve in US conflict areas, and Mary, who is using her work in a large media company’s CSR program to speak to communities all around the world. Another participant named Rachel spoke about creating opportunities for Native Americans to connect and find funding for fellowships and higher education.
WE CRAVE COMMUNITY.
The major theme of the conference was “community.” It became quickly apparent that communities are what we strive to improve, yearn to join, and activate to initiate changes we wish to see. We discussed how as a group, millennials look for higher levels of engagement within their communities. They give their time, treasure, and talents to causes they care about – and expect those same causes to use them effectively. Counting myself among this population, I do understand the yearning to make a change, the need to support causes, and the desire to work with organizations that assist the philanthropic endeavors I care about.
Thankfully, I work for Growfund. I’m excited to be a part of this team because I believe that we are changing the way donors, employees, and students can engage with causes that are important to them. We are creating a new community of strategic givers. I am given the opportunity every day to connect with individuals and organizations that are on the cutting edge of strategic philanthropy.
And our community is growing! Growfund offers so many ways to build our community of strategic givers. Our employee giving campaign uses Growfund’s payroll deduction feature to manage, grow, and distribute philanthropic gifts. With each paycheck, this tool allows me to gradually save for my giving to support efforts around peacebuilding and youth development. At any point of the year, my funds are set aside, ready to be donated. Growfund also allows me to create my own funds for these causes and invite my family, friends, and co-workers to donate through them. This way, we pool our donations through an expression of shared values, amplifying our impact and strengthening our community!
MCON made tangible my belief that communities ignite change in the world. Massive movements to affect change were discussed at MCON, but also the fact that these movements all started with one or two people.
Understanding that everyone does not have the same opportunities to give, I came away from the conference with a few steps that people can take to ignite their own workplace community. You can:
- ASK: Ask your employer about their corporate responsibility program. See if they match gifts; volunteer; inquire about new levels of involvement with your organization’s giving arm.
- ACTIVATE: If you do not have a CSR program, create ways for your company to give back. Propose starting an employee giving week, or grab a few coworkers to volunteer monthly. It may take time, but once your company sees how such efforts can support morale and productivity in your workplace, they may just begin to invest into your programming.
- GIVE IN NEW WAYS: Find platforms like Growfund which allow you to learn and be strategic about your giving. Start a campaign with your colleagues to leverage their talents, or a giving circle to support each other’s passions.
At MCON, every changemaker took the stage referencing someone who supported them. It was an amazing way to demonstrate a community coming together to make a difference!
Special Growfund Charity Charge credit card earns cashback rewards as tax-deductible charitable donations to cardholder’s Growfund Donor Advised Fund, allowing individual donors to incorporate saving, investing, and giving into their everyday purchases.
ALEXANDRIA, VA, and AUSTIN, TX, June 6, 2017 – Global Impact, a world leader in growing global philanthropy, has joined forces with Charity Charge, a Public Benefit Corporation offering the first credit card with a rewards program that earns 1% cash back on purchases as charitable donations. Through this partnership, Charity Charge will make available a credit card with Growfund, Global Impact’s innovative charitable giving platform, that will enable the cashback rewards to be saved, invested, and granted to nearly one million charities of the cardholder’s choice.
The partnership between these two organizations occurs at the nexus of technology, finance and philanthropy, advancing a shared mission to transform the methods by which people can donate. Ann Canela, Vice President of Global Impact and an architect of the Growfund giving platform said, “Charity Charge shares our vision of leveraging technology to transform the systems of giving. We created Growfund to democratize philanthropy by offering individuals a chance to create their own personal foundation to engage with their causes more deeply.” She added, “Our partnership with Charity Charge will make it easier for individuals to integrate giving more seamlessly into their daily lives, as they can now transform their everyday purchases into everyday donations.”
Growfund is Global Impact‘s charitable giving tool that democratizes philanthropy by allowing individuals to create their own personal foundation and experience the benefits of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), with as little as $1 to start. Unlike other DAFs that require sizeable contributions before the funds are invested, Growfund contributions can be invested with the first $1. When ready to give, donors can make grants to nearly one million domestic and international charities through Growfund’s partnership with GuideStar. Operating like a money market or 401(k) investment platform, Growfund helps individual donors grow their contributions, plan for their giving, and then give with impact where they live, learn and work. The credit card rewards program will provide an additional way for Growfund owners to add funds automatically.
Said Stephen Garten, CEO and founder of Charity Charge, “We created Charity Charge to empower donors to do good every day through their regular purchases, at no cost to the recipient charities. We are proud to partner with Global Impact to help donors Charge It Forward to their Growfund. The Charity Charge World MasterCard will offer everyday donors a way to amplify their contributions and plan for their giving to the causes they care about, with every swipe.”
To apply for a Growfund Charity Charge World MasterCard, click here.
About Global Impact
Global Impact is a leader in growing global philanthropy. The organization builds partnerships and raises resources that help the world’s most vulnerable people by providing integrated, partner-specific advisory and backbone services; workplace fundraising and representation; campaign design, marketing and implementation for workplace and signature fundraising campaigns; and fiscal agency and technology services. Global Impact works with more than 300 public and private sector workplace giving campaigns to generate funding for an alliance of more than 100 international charities. Through strategic council and implementation support, Global Impact equips private sector and nonprofit organizations to achieve their philanthropic goals. The organization also served as administrator for four of the world’s largest workplace giving campaigns, including the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) and the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas (CFC-O). Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.8 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people.
About Charity Charge
Charity Charge, PBC is an Austin-based startup that’s transforming the way people give to nonprofits. The Charity Charge World MasterCard, issued by Commerce Bank, is the first credit card to let users donate the 1% cash back they receive on all purchases for up to three charities of their choice. Through unique partnerships with GuideStar and Network for Good, Charity Charge has the ability to distribute donations to any nonprofit registered in the U.S. Founded by CEO Stephen Garten, the company’s goal is to leverage technology to bring philanthropy into the 21st Century.
To apply for a card or for nonprofit registration information, visit charitycharge.com.
Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an9D_O1VEGo
CHARITY CHARGE CONTACT
We’re looking forward to attending MCON June 5th – June 6th at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Growfund’s Brandolon Barnett, Emily Salmon St. Pierre and Austen Brower are excited to engage with MCON attendees about the way millennials pursue their philanthropic aspirations.
MCON gathers leaders, activist and social entrepreneurs from all over the country to better understand today’s social movements and how to turn interest into action. Together, MCON and Growfund are investing in ways organizations and companies can inspire employees to be change-makers in the new era of corporate activism.
To learn more about MCON and to register, click here.